Regular readers of this blog will know that one of the recurring themes that we re-visit from time to time is that of trying to get people to realise that cheaper isn’t always better — in fact it rarely is. Value for money needs to be your constant mantra if you are a consumer who wants to get more bang for their proverbial buck. Some perfect examples of this truism came across my desk earlier this week when I received details of great 7-night offers currently available to exotic destinations such as Thailand, Bali and Malaysia starting from as little as €979 and an 14-night offer to South Africa for just €1,875. Now even I can add so I know that these prices are more than what you’d pay for a typical week or two on mainland Spain or most of the other popular European resorts but the brochure price rarely paints the full picture. As we both know, the true cost of any holiday is the cost of getting there + all the extras such as food, entertainment, travel, shopping and sightseeing once you’re in situ so what might cost you €599 before you leave, might often end up making a dent of more than €2k, once all the miscellaneous ‘extras’ have been added up.
The beauty of many long haul destinations — apart from the amazing scenery, beautiful natives, balmy temperatures and exotic culture — is that usually, the most expensive part of the holiday is getting there. By way of example, I recently entertained a party of seven people at a popular outdoor restaurant in Chiang Mai (Thailand) and the bill —including beers — for the whole party came to just under €15! True, you’d pay a whole lot more if you had the same meal in a five star hotel but who wants to travel all that distance, simply to experience a homogenised, westernised version of what you could have back home! The point I’m making is that you should not automatically look at the headline price of every single holiday offer and exclude many of them on the mistaken assumption that you’re budget won’t stretch that far because when you actually do the sums, many of these wonedrful destinations are much more within reach financially than you realise!